Baseball91's Weblog

January 14, 2011

Clawback on the Petter’s Ponzi Scheme Involving Mondale?

With the appointment by the new governor of Ted Mondale as chairman of the METROPOLITAN SPORTS FACILITIES COMMISSION, as the Minnesota Vikings have an ally in the fight to get a new stadium with public moneys, it is of note that our leading politically appointed prosecutors have not pursued issues of clawback, as has been going on in the wake of the Bernie Maddoff Ponzi scheme in the New York City area. It was less than six months ago that Tom Petter was convicted in his part in a Ponzi scheme.

Granted, the bloodless Petters trial does not evoke the emotions of the scars of the Rape of Europa, when seemingly innocent people ended up with the great art work as a result of the plunder of the Nazis in Eastern Europe. But the issues is still the same.

Clawback was the tool used with judicial oversight for getting back the unjustified profits of tainted money.

On Nov. 2, 2010, First American Financial Corporation announced the acquisition of NAZCA Solutions, Inc to add to their portfolio as a leading global provider of title insurance and settlement services for real estate transactions. Founded in 2003, “Nazca quickly built a reputation for innovation by developing technology that connected real estate professionals with a variety of databases needed for property and title research,” according to its website. Since that time, Nazca has been leveraging Web technology to aggregate disparate property data sets from multiple internal and external sources.

It is of note that in June 2002, Tom Petters, teaming with former Fingerhut chairman Ted Deikel, made purchase of the Fingerhut name, the customer list, along with their buildings in St. Cloud, Minnetonka, Plymouth as well as in Tennessee after Federated Department Stores decided to sell or close Fingerhut in 2002. Ted Deikel took over Fingerhut Direct Marketing Inc., which created the catalogs, while Tom Petters took over Fingerhut Fulfillment, based at a St. Cloud distribution center; the new Fingerhut restarted with online and catalog sales in November 2002. Deikel sold his interest in Fingerhut in 2004.

In the summer of 2002, Petters’ operations moved into Fingerhut’s former headquarters in Minnetonka. In April 2003, The Petters Group, with two minority investors, purchased uBid. The same month, Fingerhut Direct Inc. announced it had obtained a $100 million line of credit to finance inventory and receivables. In 2003, Petters allegedly invested in former Minnesota State Senator Ted Mondale’s Nazca Solutions. If you could believe Wikipedia. Nazca Solutions inevitably was hit by the slump in total real estate sales in 2010. And so the sale.

When bubbles burst. When the bough breaks. Like on a dome. “When the roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown.” Acquired by First American Financial for an undisclosed amount, Nazca Solutions works in partnership with clients to develop and integrate progressive data solutions, with a targeted focus towards settlement services companies and default management specialists. In the field of real estate which has not exactly been thriving lately.

Will there ever be an investigation of clawback of the Ponzi scheme of Tom Petters who allegedly invested in Nazca, and allowed a company to take off? Should the victims of Mr. Petters be allowed some fruits of the fraudulent transactions made with Tom Petter’s tainted money? Speaking of settlement services, will the son of Orville Freeman as the elected Hennepin County prosecutor be looking into the matter, if the federal judge did not, as Ted Mondale re-enters public service.

As the well-connected use their connections to see that the Minnesota Vikings spend little of their own capital, in the financing of a new stadium. With public moneys. Perhaps, people with not so dissimilar a philosophical outlook of someone involved in a Ponzi scheme. The sons of famous politicians who had been elected by farmers and laborers. When you had always been above the fray, and there seemed always to be privileges for the few. The lucky ones born who always had the art. And no one asked how it got there. For this bigger, stronger, faster high tech world. The one with steroids for weight-lifters. When so many of the ballplayers named in the Mitchell Report were the sons of former major league players.

Now with more public moneys. Speaking of sons, like the son of Bill Veek, who believes in using public money to build stadiums for the Saint Paul Saints. His Saint Paul Saints. Perhaps, people with not so dissimilar a philosophical outlook of someone involved in a Ponzi scheme, looking for an ally in the fight to get a new stadium with public moneys. Campaigning for a new stadium in St. Paul, with the help of a bonding bill, when that caliber of baseball was not expected to thrive much longer, with outdoor baseball now played outdoors at Target Field. When the Minnesota Gopher Baseball team was who really needed a new ballpark. Maybe Ted Mondale might differentiate between private enterprises and public entities with a state interest, in the latest Ponzi schemes under the auspices of football players, bush league baseball players, and their owners. As the rich get richer, only at public expense. When politics was always this modern day morality play reaching a consensus about goodness. Over public policy about what was truly good.

POST SCRIPT: It is worth note that clawback has begun in the Tom Petters’ case, sometime after this post. Led by an attorney named Kelley, doing a most admirable job; in his private life, if you like gossip, Attorney Kelley has been seen dating the ex-wife of Jim Pohlad, known for his leadership in the ownership these days of the Minnesota Twins.

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1 Comment »

  1. We live in a society where the politically-appointed like Michelle Kelm-Helgen feel above the law, when, as well, the people who play in the building are above us all.

    Under a more fair scrutiny, like the way sexual assault on college campus is now handled under Title IX, more and more people are asking questions, since athletics are a sub-unit of the rest of a campus. Only six public universities have self-sustaining athletic programs, according to 2013-14 data provided by schools to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Huffington Post identified the six universities — Louisiana State, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Purdue and Ohio State.

    Universities will typically use a surplus in one department to cover a shortfall in another, in their overall operation. Sports and entertainment professor at the University of South Carolina Mark Nagel focuses in his classes on college sports budgets. Athletics “in many cases has been allowed to have a one-way financial commitment,” at the tax payers’ expense.

    Comment by baseball91 — March 21, 2017 @ 1:06 PM | Reply

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